The New Zealand Ministry of Health has begun consultation on options for a new policy for delivering Ministry of Health-funded home and community support to disabled adults that does not discriminate on the basis of family status. Click here for details
The People Living with Psychotic Illness 2010 study, the largest of its kind ever undertaken in Australia, found that psychotic illness affects around one in every 200 Australians every year and that 90% of people affected report a deterioration in their ability to function in their daily life – be it cooking, cleaning, managing their finances or working. comprehensive study of thousands of people with psychotic illness provides compelling evidence of the need to provide more support and better-coordinated community mental health services in Australia.
Focusing on clients of public mental health services, the study found that, despite being in treatment, four out of ten of the 64,000 adult Australians with a psychotic illness continue to experience delusions and a third currently experience hallucinations.
Almost half of all Australians with a psychotic illness are obese, two thirds smoke and over half have problems with alcohol and drug abuse and dependence.
Particularly troubling is the finding that nearly a quarter of people with psychotic illness reported being lonely and one in eight had no friends at all.
Around half of people with psychotic illness have attempted suicide at some time. This is over ten times the rate in the general population.
The study reveals changes in the delivery of mental health services since the previous survey in 1997- 98, principally related to the ongoing, if uneven, shift from hospital to community-based care.
There have also been modest but real improvements including a halving of the number of people homeless in the last 12 months (from 13% in 1998 to 5%) and a 60% increase in the number of people using rehabilitation programs.
There remains vast scope for improvement in physical and mental health services if we are to help people with these serious illnesses find somewhere decent to live, work to do and friends to share their lives with.
The study was commissioned by the Australian Government, Department of Health and Ageing.
Download:: People Living with Psychotic Illness – A SANE Response
Unravelling Psychosocial Disability, a position statement by the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum (NMHCCF), was launched at Parliament House, 22 Nov, 2011, by Senator Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary for Ageing, Disability and Carers.
This landmark document describes the needs of people with psychosocial disability and the issues that affect their capacity to participate in the community. The statement urgently calls for improved support for people with psychosocial disability related to mental health conditions.
In August 2011, the NMHCCF welcomed the inclusion of people with a psychosocial disability in the proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The decision, outlined in the final report of the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Disability Care and Support, was a watershed moment in mental health reform.
The recognition of psychosocial disability, often referred to as psychiatric disability, marks a significant shift in the attitudes of policy makers and the community.
"Mental health consumers and carers have waited too long for their psychosocial disability support needs to be acknowledged – we are delighted by this decision" said Janet Meagher, Consumer Co-Chair of the NMHCCF Psychosocial Disability Working Group. Margaret Springgay, Carer Co-Chair of the Working Group said "this is a long overdue acknowledgment of the devastating and disabling effects that mental illness has on so many lives".
Unravelling Psychosocial Disability was developed by the NMHCCF as part of its submission to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Disability Care and Support. The position statement will be an important reference for mental health consumers and carers, policy makers and service providers in the mental health and disability sectors and in the broader community.
Download:: Unravelling Psychosocial Disability (2011).
For more information please contact Kim Harris, 02 6285 3100
Disability Care and Support Inquiry report This inquiry report was released on 10 August 2011.
The first ever World report on disability, produced jointly by WHO and the World Bank, suggests that more than a billion people in the world today experience disability.
People with disabilities have generally poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities. This is largely due to the lack of services available to them and the many obstacles they face in their everyday lives.
The report provides the best available evidence about what works to overcome barriers to health care, rehabilitation, education, employment, and support services, and to create the environments which will enable people with disabilities to flourish. The report ends with a concrete set of recommended actions for governments and their partners.
Download:: World report on disability